olidaymakers who got stuck in monster traffic on their way to Dover and the Eurotunnel last weekend can attest to the fact that we are now in peak holiday season. According to the ONS, Brits made 65. 7m foreign trips last year, while there were 36m visits to UK from overseas in the same period. There was one very big winner when it comes to attracting UK tourists: one in five overseas visits by British residents last year were to Spain, almost 13m trips in all. The reverse isnвt quite as popular: Spanish residents made an estimated 2. 2m trips to the UK in the same period. In terms of the total number of visits, Spanish people were the fifth most frequent visitors to the UK last year.
France topped that list with 4. 2m trips, followed by Americans (3. 3m visits), Germans (3. 2m) and Irish people (2. 6m). All four countries also feature in the top-10 destinations for UK residents. British people made almost 6. 5m trips to Portugal, Greece and Turkey collectively last year. But that level of tourism was not reciprocated, with just over 800,000 trips made in the other direction. The ONS bases its travel and tourism estimates on responses from visitors arriving to and leaving the UK who take part in the International Passenger Survey.
The Co-operative Travel analysed 8. 9 million travel bookings made over the last six years, and found that a staggering 29% of them were for to Spain.
The next most popular destination Б Greece Б accounted for just 10% of BritsБ foreign holidays, while third-place Turkey attracted 8%. ItБs not like Spain is just going through a popular spell, either research shows itБs consistently the favourite among British holidaymakers. The question is, why? Why Spain? Well thereБs the culture, for starters. Then thereБs the epic coastal scenery, the gorgeous sun-scorched countryside and the magnificently soulful food.
Add in vibrant fiestas, a smile-inducing climate and a couple of EuropeБs most enticing city-break destinations, and you can start to see why Spain is so popular. But I think thereБs another reason why Brits go to Spain. The fact is, after decades of other British people holidaying there, the place feels kind of familiar. And in some of the most popular resorts on the Costa del Sol, youБll see that just about everything has been done to make Brits feel like theyБre not actually abroad. Union Jacks flutter outside English pubs and cooked breakfasts are served at cafцs by the beach.
ItБs sunny and warm, but somehow it feels like home. And thatБs what keeps a lot of people coming back. For all the talk of wanting to get away from it all, plenty of Brits still love to start their day with a nice cup of tea. Personally, I think the most exciting part about travelling is leaving behind the things you know. But familiarity can be comforting. And when you want good weather and great beaches less than a three-hour flight from home, Spain is always ready to deliver the goods. What do think? Is Spain still a good option for a holiday? Or would you rather go somewhere with fewer Brits?